U.S. Embassy Says 11 Americans Killed in Philippine Air Crash
MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ The U.S. Embassy said Monday that 11 Americans were aboard the Philippine Airlines plane that crashed and burned last week on a mountain in northern Luzon, killing all 50 people aboard.
Experts returned to Manila after investigating the site and said they had no indications why the Hawker-Siddeley-748 crashed Friday some nine miles south of the Baguio City airport.
The twin-engine turboprop plane, PAL Flight 206, was en route from Manila to the resort city about 130 miles north of the capital when it smashed into the 7000-foot, fog-shrouded Mount Ugo.
At a funeral home in suburban Manila, officials continued the task of trying to identify the charred remains of the victims. All but seven had been identified by Monday night.
A U.S. Embassy statement said 10 of the American citizens on the plane had been born in the Philippines. They included Helen Jeetlal and her 7-month-old daughter, Sheeleen. Her Indian husband also was killed.
The family lived in the Philippines. It was not known that Mrs. Jeetlal and her daughter were U.S. citizens until late Sunday when relatives informed airline officials.
The statement said the other Americans killed in the crash were Buenaventura Alcantara of Niles, Ill., his wife Exultacion, son Ben, daughter Lisa, and brother-in-law Addison Daliva; Marina Dinzey of Glenview Ill., her son Tito and daughter Felice, and John Neill, an American-born businessman living in Baguio City.
In Dallas, Texas Instruments said Neill, 47, was president and director of the company’s operations in the Philippines.
On Monday, the Manila Chronicle said the local branch of the Singer Sewing Machine Co. had lost four of its five top Filipino executives in the crash. It identified them as general manager Antonio Santa Mesa, planning manager Clarito Munda, field operations manager Andres Atiezna and personnel manager Rodrigo Arcebal.
Investigators on Sunday retrieved the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder from the wreckage and expressed hope the ″black boxes″ would reveal what happened in the final minutes before the crash.
But after the instruments were examined in Manila it was determined that both recorders were damaged beyond use, according to airline president Dante Santos.
Two investigating teams from the Bureau of Air Transportation returned from the crash site after completing their preliminary investigation and began preparations for an inquiry, officials said.
″There is nothing new yet, so far. But as soon as we have collated all reports, we will start the official investigation next Monday,″ bureau director Victorino Palpal-Latok told reporters. He declined to speculate on the possible reason for the crash.